SPECIAL UPDATE: The President's FY06 Budget Request
This update was originally sent out as an e-mail message to AGI's
The President's proposed budget for fiscal year 2006 (FY2006) was
unveiled on February 7, 2005. Highlights of the spending proposals
that are particularly relevant to the geoscience community are summarized
in the budget summaries provided for each major department. The House
and Senate have reduced the number of appropriations committees and
shuffled the programs within these committees. The AGI web pages have
been re-organized to accommodate these changes.
In the House, the number of committees was reduced from 13 to 10,
eliminating the District of Columbia; Legislative; and Veterans, Housing
and Independent Agencies (VA-HUD) committees. The new Science, State,
Justice and Commerce committee chaired by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) will
gain NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Office of
Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The updated Energy and Water
committee chaired by Rep. David Hobson (R-OH) will add all Department
of Energy programs from the Interior subcommittee. Consideration of
the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) budget will now be the
domain of the Interior and Environment subcommittee, chaired by Rep.
Charles Taylor (R-NC).
In the Senate, the number of committees was reduced from 13 to 12,
eliminating the VA-HUD committee. The Commerce, Justice, and Science
committee chaired by Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) will gain NASA,
NSF, and OSTP and lose Judiciary and State. The Energy and Water committee
chaired by Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) will gain all energy related
accounts from Interior while the Interior and Related Agencies committee
chaired by Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) will gain the EPA and related
The Department of the Interior (DOI) received a proposed total budget
of $10.8 billion. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) would receive
$933.5 million, a decrease of $1.9 million from last year. Within
USGS, the proposal would fully fund all fixed costs, provide increases
for hazards, mapping and seismic monitoring programs and decreases
for mineral and water programs. The Mineral Resources Program would
receive a 53% cut, leaving the program with only $25 million in FY06.
Please see the special action alert about the importance of this program
and what effects the proposed halving would have on the program.
The President proposes a $23.4 billion Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 budget
for the Department of Energy (DOE). The proposed budget would eliminate
funds for oil and gas research and hydropower research while boosting
funds for nuclear power and hydrogen fuel cell research. Nuclear cleanup
programs and funding for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository
would also be trimmed.
The NSF is requesting $5.605 billion, a 2.4 % increase over FY 2005
funding. Part of this increase will be for the transfer of $48 million
from the Coast Guard to NSF to operate and maintain three polar icebreakers
used in Antarctic and Arctic research. Research and Related Agencies
will receive small increases while Education and Human Resources would
be cut. Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction would
see a 44% increase from $173.7 million to $250.0 million. The Geosciences
Directorate would increase by 2.2% from $694.2 million to $709.1 million,
with some of this increase to support EarthScope.
Within the Department of Commerce, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) would be reduced by 8.5% to $3.6 billion with
increases for satellite services and decreases for marine fisheries,
ocean and atmospheric programs. The National Institute of Standards
and Technology (NIST) was authorized to be the lead agency for the
National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), however, no
funds were proposed for FY 2006 to support NEHRP within NIST.
The National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) received
a proposed increase of 2.4% for a total of $16.5 billion for FY06.
Among Earth science programs, the Earth Systematic Missions program
is slated for a $118 million (40%) cut, stalling the Glory Mission,
which was planned to address climate change. Earth System Science
Pathfinder Projects would increase by $27 million (25%), resulting
in a total $92 million reduction within the Earth-Sun System division.
The total budget request for the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) in FY 2006 is $7.6 billion, a 5.6% decrease from last year.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) budget would also
be reduced by 3.4% to $129.3 billion with decreases in the Research,
Education, and Economics division (12.9%) and Natural Resources and
Please see the following summaries by departments or agencies for
more details about the proposed budget:
of Commerce (NIST, NOAA)
of Education (Math and Science Partnerships)
of the Interior
Special update prepared by Linda Rowan, Director of Government Affairs
and Emily Lehr Wallace, AGI Government Affairs Program
Sources: White House Office of Management and Budget; National Science
Foundation; Department of Commerce; NOAA; NIST; EPA; Greenwire; Energy
and Environment Daily; Department of Energy; Department of the Interior;
U.S. House of Representatives; United States Senate
Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI
Government Affairs Program.
Posted March 14, 2005